Flamenco at the Thirsty Bear. Jim Gunshinan

About Jim Gunshinan

 • The Artificial Heart
 • Heroes
 • Geography Lessons
 • Blue Cornflowers
 • Living by Water
 • Upon This Rock
 • The Man Dad Brought
    Home from the War
 • Physics
 • Black and White
 • Not the Mom We Were
    Used To

 • Nothing Sacred
 • Spring
 • Transformation
 • Please Straighten That Up
 • Up from Depression
 • What the Body Wants
 • Compassion
 • Commute
 • Kiss Me
 • Starter Castles
 • Flamenco at the Thirsty
 • A Nature Poem
 • Portrait of a Woman from
   the Gardens of Egypt in the
   First Century



Not the Mom We Were Used To

Mom cooked the sauce long and slow
with big chunks of pork on the bone
or pepperoni sliced thick enough

to fill the mouths of my oldest brothers
Tommy and Frank. She doled it out
on mounds of pasta to all six of us

so the littlest wouldn’t
go away from the table hungry.
On this particular Monday

which was her cleaning day
there was stillness in the air
as though something big were going to happen

like before the August storms swept in
off the Atlantic and two hundred miles
inland to blow the leaves and branches

of the Weeping Willow
in our backyard

Eight glasses of milk
stood before us, large glasses
and cold. I don’t remember who did it

who tipped his over.
I do remember my Mom
making a slow deliberate circle

around the table, tipping the rest over
one by one
and the chill of more than 96 ounces of milk

spilling out over the table top
cascading over the edge, spreading
in a circle on our jeans, and

pooling in our Sears Jeepers.
So much given
and our mouths closed shut in awe and wonder.

  © Jim Gunshinan, 2013


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